Rendering of L3Harris' Tracking Layer Tranche 2 missile-tracking satellites for the Space Development Agency. Credit: L3Harris Technologies

COLORADO SPRINGS — Mercury Systems announced a $31 million contract April 10 to supply solid-state data recorders to L3Harris Technologies for the U.S. Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer Tranche 2.

“We are extremely proud to provide the on-orbit data storage capabilities for this important national security mission,” Tom Smelker, general manager of Mercury’s microsystems business unit, said in a statement. “The Mercury Processing Platform brings unique advantages to the space domain, with edge-ready products that turn data into decisions.”

In January, SDA awarded contracts to L3Harris, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Space to produce 18 Tracking Layer Tranche 2 satellites apiece with infrared sensors to track hypersonic missiles in flight.

Another four satellites L3Harris built for SDA’s Tracking Layer Tranche 0 launched in February. And SDA tapped L3Harris in December to begin producing 16 Tracking Layer Tranche 1 satellites.

Solid-State Recorders

With the latest award, Mercury is providing primary data storage devices for all three L3Harris Tracking Layer constellations.

The Mercury solid-state recorders are designed to tolerate radiation and “enable on-orbit sensor data processing and storage,” according to the news release.

NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation, an imaging spectrometer mounted on the international space station, also is equipped with Mercury solid-state data recorders.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...